Deloitte warns that claims are still coming in big numbers

Insurers are being warned not to lose focus on asbestos rulings after Deloitte estimated that around $12bn (£7.24bn) in reinsurance liabilities still remains from US asbestos claims.

Deloitte director Darren Michaels said that both UK and European insurers are exposed, and face another sizeable sum in relation to direct insurance to the US market.

Michaels said insurers must not get distracted by the rulings for pleural plaques, an asbestos-related scarring on the lungs, on which the UK government is yet to decide whether compensation is necessary.

He said: “It is important for insurers not to take their eyes off the ball, because there are still pretty big exposures to large numbers.”

Commentators believe total claims, both past and present, to the market for US asbestos range from $200bn to $275bn.

In an encouraging sign for insurers, Michaels said legislation and tough reforms in the US had helped to stem the flow of asbestos claims last year.